Work has begun on a monument to Kenyas national heroes in central Nairobi, the state-owned Nation newspaper reports. Heroes honoured at the memorial will include key figures in the struggle for independence from British colonial rule as well as in the political life of the independent Republic of Kenya.

The memorial will stand on a ten-acre plot in the 76-acre Uhuru park due west of the central business district and will cost an estimated Ksh350 million.

The monument will include a reception area with a library, a landscaped garden and special commemorative plaques. Following initial research, a perimeter fence is reportedly now going up around the area and landscaping is underway. Two water boreholes have also been drilled.

However considerable obstacles remain: the Nation adds that the technical committee has not yet settled on a design for the memorial, while there is still confusion about who qualifies as a national hero or heroine and whether inclusion should be limited to the political sphere or extended to other fields such as culture or sport, as well as to people who are still alive.

Uhuru means freedom or independence in Kiswahili and the park is where the national flag was raised at independence in 1963.

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